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These North Korean millennials might be the country's best shot at change



The words "change" and "North" and "Korea" don't often appear together in the same sentence. But this generation of North Korean young could be the key in bringing about badly needed change on the Korean peninsula.

Referred to as the "Jangmadang Generation," this group of young North Koreansgrew up during a particularly hard time in the country's history. The name "jangmadang" is derived from markets that began appearing during the famine in North Korea in the 1990s. The government could no longer provide food for its people and more than 2 million people starved to death. Those with food began selling it, allowing capitalism to begin to thrive in an ostensibly communist country.

A new documentary created by Liberty In North Korea, an organization that helps those who have escaped the regime, premiered on The Washington Post's website and tells the stories of some of these young adults.

Take Joo Yang, a North Korean who grew up during the famine, began a business of her own when she was 14, selling leftover soybeans she found in the chaff at a factory.

Kang Min was separated from his mother at age 9 and survived as a beggar on the streets. He made his way in the world by pick pocketing people in the markets. However, he now imports socks and batteries from China.

Liberty in North Korea says it wanted to make the film to showcase the human side of North Korea, a country so often thought to be backwards and full of automatons.

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